Local Wire

Al Stewart

In the unlikely event that Al Stewart can't make his scheduled March 2 concert, Destroyer frontman Dan Bejar could definitely fill in. Maybe he's Stewart's illegitimate love child, because, seriously, what are the odds two unrelated people could have that high, nasally vocal timbre? Either way, check out Destroyer's "Painter in Your Pocket" and compare it to Stewart's signature hit, "Year of the Cat." The similarity is creepy. So this raises the question: When considering all the bands in the world that came before, from Elvis to Iron Maiden to the Sex Pistols, why model your sound after a middle-of-the-road rocker like Stewart? Perhaps we're overlooking something. First, the Scottish singer is instantly recognizable, best known for the above-mentioned 1976 hit and 1978's "Time Passages." Second, Stewart has a track record of success dating back to the 1960s British folk-rock revival. Richard Thompson, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, and other guitar luminaries have played on his records. He performed at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970, and Love Chronicles, released a year earlier, was the first mainstream record with the word "fucking" on it. Hmmm . . . maybe Destroyer understands: There's more to Stewart than meets the ear.